June 20th, 2007

little review

Poem for Wednesday & Virginia Beach Trip 2

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Any day that is spent entirely within a mile of the shore is a good day in my book. We got up very early Tuesday because our room faces east and the ocean, so the sunrise over the Atlantic sent light even through the heavy curtain. Looking out the window, we saw dolphins jumping just offshore! They appeared sporadically throughout the early morning and while we ate at the hotel breakfast buffet, though by the time we went out to swim, they had swum off. There were pelicans diving to grab fish and the usual gulls and crabs.

Younger son got a bodyboard on Monday evening, and Tuesday morning we tried it out. By Tuesday at lunchtime we had decided we each needed one, and we took them into the water in the late afternoon. Why in all the years I have been going to the beach did I never try one of these before? The waves were somewhat larger late Tuesday and there cannot possibly be a more relaxing way to enjoy them than floating over them on a board without even having to tread water. I love swimming in the ocean, but sometimes I just want to lounge and surf in without effort, and these are fabulous -- apaulled got one with a pirate skull, while mine has a pink lizard and flowers, hee.

In between these beach visits we went to the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center, which we knew had an extensive salt marsh and local wildlife pavilion but we did not know had visiting African penguins. We arrived to see an enormous inflatable penguin out front and went in to discover that, while a big section of the aquarium is undergoing renovations that have required moving the permanent ray tank, there was a new exhibit with six penguins and all sorts of activities about their food, eggs and habitat. There was some thunder while we walked on the trail through the salt marsh, looking at crabs, birds and turtles, and we were afraid the weather would turn but it had cleared completely by the time we left.

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In the evening we went to George’s Breakfast & Seafood Buffet, where I ate far, far too much salmon, crab, stuffed flounder and shrimp plus dessert. Our original plan had been to go to a free production of The Tempest at the historic Coast Guard station on the beach, but the kids had been so late getting off the beach that it was already well underway by the time we got there, so we watched a bit (nice costumes, good Prospero, some overacting from what I saw of Miranda and Ariel), then walked back to our hotel up the beach. Haven't seen any ghost crabs; I don't know if it hasn't been dark enough or if they need bigger dunes than Virginia Beach provides.